Clean Cities, a Department of Energy initiative that started 20 years ago, is made up of a number of regional coalitions that work with public and private fleets to help ease the transition to alternative fuels.
Clean Cities also helps fleets that aren’t ready to make the switch to alternative fuels by offering information on emerging products and technologies, that are part of an overall petroleum reduction strategy—such as route optimization and Feedback Display Systems—as well as on legislative compliance.
The smaller and mid-sized fleets are now exploring use of alternative fuels as part of their petroleum reduction strategies and are influenced by recent tax incentives and market pressure. Previously these strategies were considered out of reach to all but the biggest fleet operators. Additionally, enterprise solutions companies are helping steer some fleets toward route optimization and driver behavior programs.
Clean Cities is leveraging Federal dollars to create the infrastructure necessary to lower entry barriers and make the widespread adoption of alternative fuels a reality. “What we’re doing with Clean Cities and other initiatives is seeding the market, creating it.” says Don Francis, coordinator of Clean Cities Atlanta, “Once we create demand, then the private operators will come into the market.”
Local Clean Cities coalitions also directly reach out to both private and public fleets by hosting workshops and providing counseling and guidance sessions for operators looking to lower their fuel consumption. They also offer robust information on strategies that include GPS Tracking systems that offer idle reduction, driver behavior, and Feedback Display Systems. “Telematics is an area where we haven’t spent a lot of time yet,” Francis says. “But the shift that’s happening is called petroleum reductions strategies, and that includes telematics. It’s an area we’re increasingly involved with.”
GPS Tracking systems such as FieldLogix, together with alternative fuel implementations, offer all the fuel savings techniques including idle reduction and driver training to modify driver behavior that fit in with the goals of the petroleum reduction strategies recommended by Clean Cities.